Welcome to the Wandering Drays!

Not all who wander are lost...

Welcome to my blog dedicated to my family and our crazy foreign service life. Never content with staying in one place, we are excited to share our journey. We've survived two unaccompanied tour (Baghdad 2010-2011 and Baghdad again in 2015-2016), multiple TDYs, and enjoyed a two-year family assignment in Cairo, Egypt. The fab hubby is currently learning Turkish for our next assignment...Istanbul, Turkey! We leave for Turkey sometime in summer 2017. I write about what I know. Which is mainly kids, tween drama, gross pets, dealing with lots of government info, our moving adventures, being a nurse, yoga, running, living on too-little sleep, and an addiction to coffee lattes. I hope you'll enjoy this glimpse into our lives.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I Said One And Done…But I Really Didn't Mean It

Yeah.  That shirt is a cliche.  But every time I run, I really do feel invincible.
There's a strong love-hate relationship between me and running.  I've been a runner, off and on, for about 20 years.  {And BAM!  Just like that, I feel OLD!  20 YEARS.}  In my running 'career', I've done numerous races.  Countless 5K's, a couple of handfuls of 10K's, the oddball 8-mile and 10-mile races, four (as of this past weekend!) 1/2 Marathons, but only ONE Marathon.

I'm a slow runner.  I'm not particularly built like a runner.  I've got numerous physical complaints when I run.  But bottom line --- when I run, I feel good.  That runner's high is intoxicating.  Get it once, and you want it again and again.  So I've run, with lots of complaining, lulls, and repeat back to running, off and on for 20 years.

In October 2012, I flew from Cairo to San Francisco to run the Nike Women's Marathon.  I'd spent years dreaming of running a marathon.  After submitting my name in Nike's lottery, I left the marathon possibility up to chance.  When my name was drawn, I assumed it was fate; I was meant to run that race.  I'd only ever wanted to run one, and it was, despite the hardship of training (the heat in Cairo, the street dogs chasing me, getting smacked across my behind by a Cairo taxi driver, the exhaustion of working full-time/chasing three kids around/trying to keep a 'normal' life, etc, etc, etc), the race was EPIC.

I hurt.  I nearly cried when I crossed the finish line.  I crashed into exhaustion post-race.   And the pain that lingered in my small joints (primarily my feet and hands) for the month after, was later diagnosed as as an uncommon subset of arthritis - inflammatory osteoarthritis; unfortunately, running could be one of those things that causes an inflammatory stress reaction to my arthritis.  But I did it.  Against so many odds, I DID IT.

And it was amazing.  In fact, I'd say it was one of the greatest achievements of my life.

I felt strongly that a marathon was a "ONE AND DONE" event for me.  I've told everyone it was one of the hardest things I've ever done, and I would never have the strength or courage to do it again.  Of course, I'm still running - it's how I love to discover the world.  But never again would I do a marathon.

And of course.  I was wrong.

It started with a "don't you remember how amazing it felt to cross that line?", and was followed by a "you could beat your time if you did it again", and then the "do you really want one of the greatest events of your life to have already been completed?" crept into the thoughts in the back of my mind.  I've got so much more time to do so much more.

I bounced the idea off the fab hubby, who in all of his fabulousness simply said "do it".  No reminder of how much I loathe the five-month-long training plan, no complaint of how much family time it eats up, not even a mention of how much my joints will hurt.  Just a "do it".  He's always got my back, and has always been my biggest supporter.

I submitted my name for another marathon random drawing.  And today, once again, despite the low chance of success, my name was drawn for the event.   And just like that, I'm committed to the greatness of a marathon once again.  Because in October, I'll be lining up for this:

Sure.  I said one and done.  But I didn't really mean it.  Because it's time to do it again.   The Marine Corps Marathon.  An epic race with some of the greatest you'll ever meet and be proud to run along side.

And speaking of the greatness of running.  Last weekend, I ran a 1/2 Marathon with some amazing FS friends.

It was Jill's first 1/2 Marathon! and according to her, it was also her last.  We'll see.  I don't really think it's her last.  We ran the Marine Corps 10K last fall, and it was so fun, that we signed up for the Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon here in DC.  We ran the entire race together, crossing the line at the exact same time (with visions of lattes dancing in our heads!).

Training this winter has been HORRENDOUS.  I don't think I can stand another snow day!  But we were lucky and the snow never came on race day.  It fact, it was nearly 60 degrees when we ran!  And my other friend, Sara, she rocked her best 1/2 Marathon ever!   And now she's thinking a Marathon may be in her future.

That's really how running gets you.  You have a goal.  You train for the goal.  You meet it head on and nail your goal.  And then, you need another.  And another.  And another...

And sometimes, you even get to have fun doing so.  Time with friends like this is never a bad thing, especially if you're running 13.1 miles together.

At the Race Expo, getting the goods!

Every 1 hour, I eat one of these.   Love, indeed.

Me and my posse.  I love running with these girls!  Jill and I are new
to running together; Sara and I ran together in Cairo.
Even through sandstorms!

Pre-race photobomb!

Start line!

Mile 10 selfie.  Sara was way ahead of us by now.  She was going for a PR!
Another mile 10 selfie.  Why run together if you can't have fun together?

This right here?  Best feeling in the world.


That's how you celebrate!
(I'm going incognito in those shades!  Does the latte give me away?)


  1. I can't remember the last time I commented on a post ... ON an actual blog post. Rather, I spend more time chatting on FB or Instagram and leaving my words there. Like what you did to the place - looks great!

    As I was saying during our run on Saturday, there isn't anyone I would have rather done my first 1/2 marathon with. You are motivating. You are a great running partner. And you are one of the most honest, hysterical, and dear friends I have here. I'm lucky to have you in my life!

    So run Dray run ... you're going to kick that Marathon's ass!

  2. came across your blog via the fs group. congrats on the rock&roll. I almost signed up for it, but now glad i didn't because i'm still nursing an injured knee. good luck with the MCM!